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Friday Details #378 – Trains on one other degree

Friday Details #378 – Trains on one other degree

2023-09-29 17:08:56

The code refactor of rails introduced final week is nice, however the motivation for such a activity wasn’t fairly just a few form modifications for rails.

As defined final week, we are able to now outline any form of rail form, and we had some very particular shapes in thoughts all alongside…

Over or beneath?

We would like multi-level crossings for trains, however how? Bridges or tunnels?

At first it will appear to be going underground is the safer guess – we have already got expertise with belts and pipes doing that. Easy – we draw the doorway and the exit, the center is magically related, and that is it?

  • The second layer of rails also needs to have the ability to use curves and rail alerts, in any other case it will be fairly restricted.
  • Typically you already wish to work together with gadgets within underground belts, with trains this could be loads worse as they’ll run out of gasoline, cease at alerts and so forth.
  • Constructing curves, alerts or interacting with trains within a tunnel most likely means we’d like to have the ability to stroll inside.
  • If we are able to stroll in a tunnel, biters and robots ought to have the ability to as nicely.
  • If tunnels can have curves, how might you inform which tunnel entrance connects to which exit when wanting from the surface?
  • Tunnels “over” water do not fairly really feel proper.
  • Drawing tunnels can be surprisingly troublesome as we would want to do some costly masking that Factorio is not at present able to.
  • And extra…

The concept of an elevated rail appears to have far more potential, though drawing in an higher layer actually will not be simple both.

Additionally, you simply wish to boldly see your entire trains of their full glory as a substitute of hiding them someplace in a cellar!

Such an concept would encompass:

  • Rail ramp – The transition between the decrease and higher layer.
  • Elevated rail – Tracks buildable above most issues.
  • Rail assist – Elevated rails would want helps at some intervals.

Elevated rail system items. These have been the “greybox” graphics to check the gameplay of the brand new rail shapes and the ramps, earlier than the ultimate graphics have been created.

Elevated rails

I do know you have already scrolled right down to see the ramps as a substitute of studying this but it surely simply felt bizarre to not put a
paragraph right here.

Once we thought in regards to the visible design with Albert and Earendel, we wished the ramp to be heavy and industrial, however
on the similar time not fairly completely steady and inflexible. After a number of iterations we have now arrived to this mix
of a stable concrete base mixed with an higher metallic construction.

The concrete base helps clearly present the place the ramp touches the bottom, whereas in distinction the metallic half has quite a lot of holes so you possibly can see entities positioned behind the ramp more often than not. The metallic is painted crimson, as principally the one different crimson entities in Factorio are associated to trains, it helps the elevated rails belong to the prepare household, and stand out within the manufacturing unit – as they need to with their peak.

The rail ramp is the brand new longest entity within the sport at 16 tiles lengthy and 4 tiles extensive, so you have to to contemplate the place and when to put it. It could possibly solely rotate in 4 instructions.

The rail assist follows the model of the ramp, however with the distinction that it may be rotated in 8 instructions.

It has a roughly 4×4 collision field, with the rotated ones all having the identical form.

The elevated rails may be constructed between ramps, held by rail helps alongside the best way.

The elevated rail may be constructed above something besides tall entities (rocket silo, roboport, large electrical pole, and so forth.).

They’ve precisely the identical rail shapes as the brand new floor rails do, and alerts may be connected to the elevated rails.

There are fences which assist visually distinguish the elevated rails from floor rails, you can even see how they disappear on observe crossings.

In observe changing a colliding connection within a T junction with a ramp going round it could possibly already assist loads.

With the ramp being lengthy and since we have now “solely” two layers, constructing a totally multilevel junction can get somewhat giant, however the throughput potential is very large.
It is price noting that it is not simply the extent separation that helps. It is also the truth that we do not want chain alerts, so we are able to shorten the space between regular rail alerts loads as we needn’t assure there’s sufficient house for a prepare “behind the junction”.

Particularly in arrays of prepare stops, having the exit and entrance on totally different ranges is a sport changer.

There’s a very particular patch that pulls beneath terrain which is seen solely in locations the place the ramps or helps contact water.

In case you resolve to route your rails by a lake as a result of why not, islands can change into alternatives for multi-level crossings.

See Also

Constructing one thing elevated may be finished with the rail planner. Both you possibly can press a keyboard shortcut to modify the vacation spot layer or you can begin the rail planner on a ramp, rail assist, or an elevated rail.

However in the future, kovarex mentioned “Why does not the rail planner simply snap to the rail you are pointing at?”
And since that day it does, rail planner “simply connects” to any rail you choose, together with between floor and elevated ranges.
This additionally massively helps mitigate points associated to the rail planner having extra instructions.

The rail planner can usually discover connections you would not even count on to be attainable, which may be mesmerizing to play with…

…because of this, this will occur loads faster than you’d assume.


Permitting trains to cross paths on totally different ranges has been one of the vital requested options for a really very long time. We had at all times felt it makes good sense, however trains in Factorio would not often ever get into critical sufficient throughput points to justify including elevated rails.

The growth modified this panorama fairly a bit although. If we count on gamers to usually construct bigger factories than within the base sport, prepare throughput might change into a problem, and since you’re anticipated to journey away from the house planet, having a prepare system that does not impasse can be extra vital than ever earlier than.

It isn’t onerous to guess that implementing this could require quite a lot of time, and dealing on the growth behind closed doorways allowed us some respiratory room the place we might enlarge experiments.

Between boskid with the mechanics and posila with the drawing code, simply the programming took a number of months. On the graphics facet, we might reuse quite a lot of preliminary Blender setup from the rework of floor rails, however that did not get us very far. The ramps have been merely giant objects, whereas the rail helps are a hive of optical hacks as they should fill their collision containers. Each the ramps and helps have been reworked a number of occasions to lastly get the outcome that might look and performance nicely.

Particularly due to the elevated rail fences, the required sprite rely grew very quickly. This made me use all of the methods in our Blender ebook and even add fully new Blender Python instruments that principally assist with organizing and rendering giant quantities of outputs. I bought the ultimate iteration to about 90% completion however then it simply turned an excessive amount of.

Jerzy already had expertise with rail graphics, so I had requested him to assist me by ending the final particulars and texturing, after which he dealt with the entire alerts and remnants once more. It is onerous to overstate how a lot bravery and psychological fortitude was required to “simply” soar into the Mix file of the elevated rails, and I would wish to thank him for that, once more.
You possibly can most likely see from the above photos that he did excellently. 🙂

Between Earendel on idea artwork, me on a lot of the 3D course of, Jerzy on ending and along with Albert on re-evaluating a number of main iterarions, the graphics took about 9 months to make. Maybe we might have taken some simplified route attempting to make tunnels work, however we consider the elevated rails supply higher gameplay past comparability.
But once more we are able to confidently say that correctly specializing in some options within the growth somewhat than attempting to shove extra issues into 1.0 was an excellent determination.

All the elevated rails will likely be solely accessible with the growth executable. Their expertise may be researched utilizing Manufacturing science packs with out the necessity to go to house or any planets. Elevated rails be will one of many standalone official mods subsequent to High quality and Area Age, so you possibly can play a vanilla-like sport with simply the elevated rails for instance, or different mods can simply depend upon Elevated rails.

As at all times, we’re wanting ahead to all of the suggestions you’re about to raise.

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